Tony Kanaan and the ...
Tony Kanaan and the #55 Hollywood/Mo Nunn Racing Mercedes-Benz Reynard enjoyed a relatively trouble-free second consecutive day of testing at Laguna Seca Raceway today, finishing with the third-fastest time in the afternoon and the fourth-fastest time overall. Kanaan toured the 2.238-mile hillside road course in 1 minute, 8.635 seconds (an average of 117.386 mph) in this afternoon's session to conclude the two-day CART FedEx Championship Series open test on a high note. Some 23 cars took part in all. In the morning, Kanaan recorded a 1:08.576 (117.487 mph) fast lap. Overall on the day, Helio Castroneves set at track record in the afternoon session to take fast lap honors for the two days. His time of 1:07.602 (119.180) bested teammate Gil de Ferran, who had the second-fastest overall time at 1:07.896 (118.664 mph). Patrick Carpentier, who had the fastest time overall during Thursday's opening two sessions, had today's third-fastest time overall at 1:08.477 (117.657 mph) to edge Kanaan.
The series resumes next weekend (Oct. 1-3) with the Molson Indy Vancouver, Round 15 of the 20-race season, and returns here to Laguna Seca the following weekend (Oct. 8-10) for the Grand Prix of Monterey.
"Hey, what do you know ... we got our first podium of the year in that afternoon session! That's a good feeling to have on your way out of town. Things went very smoothly today and I have to say I'm really looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks. We've made some big gains with our motor program, which showed today, and the guys have really brought the chassis along, too. We tried a few things for the afternoon's session and, sure enough, they worked. I've got to head down to Brazil now for a Hollywood event the next few days, but I can't wait to get back on the plane and make my way to Vancouver for next weekend's race. Then it's back here at Laguna. I've had some good runs here over the years and we built up some pretty good momentum that I hope will carry us through." (Note: Kanaan qualified second here last year for Forsythe Championship Racing, his second-best career start, and he won here from the pole in Indy Lights competition in 1996, followed by a runner-up finish from the pole in his Indy Lights championship season of 1997.)